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Seattle bishops to ‘review’ blessing of assisted suicide advocate

The Archdiocese of Seattle is facing questions after a local man received a formal Catholic blessing at Mass shortly before committing medically assisted suicide.

Robert Fuller, an HIV and cancer patient, committed suicide on May 10.

An Aug. 27 Associated Press profile of Fuller’s final days included a photograph and account of the blessing he received at St. Therese Parish in the Seattle archdiocese, five days before he ended his own life.

“The Associated Press story about Mr. Fuller is of great concern to the Archbishops because it may cause confusion among Catholics and others who share our reverence for human life,” the Archdiocese of Seattle said in an Aug. 27 statement.

After Fuller attended a final Mass at his parish, Fr. Quentin Dupont, SJ, led children who had just received their First Holy Communion to gather around the man. The priest, the children, and members of the parish extended their hands in blessing over him. This act was recorded and photographed by an AP journalist.

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